Originally published Monday, 29 August 2016.
Lately, God has been showing me some pretty fresh things about friendship. One of the things I’m learning is that friends can be lifelong and seasonal. For instance, like a close friend, close sister, co-worker, friend from school, sister in Christ, mother (as an adult relationship), or even an acquaintance. However, something the Lord showed me a while ago is that no matter who they are or how long they’ve been in my life, I must have integrity with them. And this means telling them the truth, even if it’s hard or hurts.
Sometimes this can be quite challenging and scary, simply because you don’t want to hurt your friend’s feelings. However, if God is impressing upon your heart to share with her the truth or bring to light something she may have done or said that is clearly in error with Him, sometimes He’ll beckon you to help your friend to get back on the right track. And of course, we must do this with all humility, not arrogantly. I’m reminded of the Scripture in Galatians 6:1-2 which says, “Dear brothers and sisters, if another Christian is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. Share each other’s troubles and problems, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone in need, you are only fooling yourself. You are truly a nobody.”
God is interested in people, and He wants us to show love to our friends. But not just through going out to lunch, or having a spa day (which I absolutely love), but He desires that we have wholesome friendships where we’re able to tell the truth in love…even if it hurts or causes some discomfort. God is in the tough stuff. Yet, I’ve found that once you work through the kinks (or rough spot), it’s a beautiful thing and you have so much joy afterwards!
Let me give you a practical illustration…actually a personal one. I can recall a time when I was combing my daughter’s hair to prepare for church the next day. Now, at first she was handling it pretty well, as I began rolling her hair. But when I started getting to the nitty gritty, she began scooting, squirming, and eventually tears began to fall. Why? Well, quite naturally, it’s because she’s tender-headed. And it hurt.
Granted, even though I was as gentle as I possibly could be, there were times when I had to get through the kinks in order for her hair to come out smooth and beautiful for the next day. I knew that if I didn’t do it then, it would hurt her even more, later. So I had to do what was best. And in the end, it worked out! I have to say here, that I was quickened by the Holy Spirit that that is exactly how it can be with our friends sometimes.
Everything could be all smooth at first, and then all of a sudden, there’s that kink! What do you do? Do you just brush over it and let it get knotted up, or do you comb through the issue as gently as you can, so that it works out best for her and everyone else around her? The bottom line here is that we need to address the real issues with our friends and tell them the truth at all cost, even if it hurts.
Let’s get real, for a quick moment. For instance, if you have a friend that is in an adulterous situation or having sex with someone she’s not married to, will you talk to her about it or simply sweep it under a rug and say, “That’s not my business.” Or what if you have a friend that’s not behaving in a manner that pleases God and you know that it can hinder her walk and effectiveness for the kingdom, will you talk to her about it or say, “Oh well, she knows better. That’s not my problem. She knows how to talk to God. I’ll just pray for her.” Or how about if you have a friend or colleague that doesn’t know Christ? Will you share Jesus with her, or just let her wallow in sin and go to hell someday?
It’s just that serious, ladies. Proverbs 12:26 says, “The godly give good advice to their friends, the wicked lead them astray.” When we see our friends going down a wrong path, we need to stop, pray, and ask God, “Lord, how can I help?” Because ultimately, He knows how to reach His daughters and aspiring ones! Sometimes it’s simply through a prayer, but then other times He requires us to go a little bit further to work out the kinks for their best interest and others they influence.
I have to mention here that sometimes your friend may not like it initially when you start combing through the issues (like my daughter), but I believe, later she will really appreciate the tough love. Be encouraged sis. Proverbs 27:17 says, “As irons sharpens iron, a friend sharpens a friend.” So tell the truth in love, and you’ll both be stronger in Christ! This is how you do it.
Remember, Jesus is coming back soon! And those who endure unto the end shall be saved. So let’s be ready from the Inside Out!
QUESTION: Have you ever had to tell a friend the truth about something, but it was hard? How did you work through it? Are you there now, and feeling a little apprehensive about it? Let me know.
NOTE: I’ll be talking more about friendships in my next LIVE chat “Let’s Talk” on Facebook, Tuesday, September 6th @ 8:30pm. Join me as I talk about “Healthy & Unhealthy Friendships.” I’m pumped about this one, because there are so many things to discuss about this topic! JOIN ME on my Facebook Page (Inside Out with Courtnaye) next Tuesday! Talk to you soon!
*Don’t forget my NEW book is scheduled to release September 1st!!!! It’s entitled, “IDENTIFIED: Knowing Who You Are in Christ & Moving Forward in Your Purpose!” I’m pumped and I want you to GRAB it! PRE-BUY it today @ www.insideoutwithcourtnaye.org/identified! And share, share, share (tell other women too!). Thanks sis!
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